1970 Chevy Camaro - The Crusher

This Lightweight Second-gen Will Turn Some Heads on the Street and Some Quick Times at the Track

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Dave and Karen Leisinger are no strangers to having some of the most creatively insane Camaros included in their automotive arsenal. Case in point would be the ’67 “Grumpy’s Toy” tribute Camaro (“Jiggs’ Rat,” Apr. ’10) they commissioned Roger Burman and his fearless crew at Lakeside Rods and Rides to whittle together as something Dave could play with when he felt the urge to burn off a little steam. That car featured a Jenkins’ Competition 572ci mill and was built to battle the asphalt benders with a full DSE suspension system; it was a nasty hybrid of Pro Stock meets Pro Touring.

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Their next concoction was spawned from a ’67 Camaro as well—although this first-gen sent the purists into a frenzy, the Camaro Karen aptly named Scar (“Scarred for Life,” Dec. ’10), shamelessly borrowed taillights, headlights, and a plethora of sheetmetal bits from a ’10 Camaro. It was a “love-it-or-hate-it” custom ride worthy of winning the 2010 Street Machine of the Year. It too was built by the Burman crew and featured a mighty 600hp powerplant. With handling on the forefront, this car too featured a full DSE suspension beneath the aggressively massaged sheetmetal.

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With two high-profile ’67s in the shed, Dave and Karen figured it was time to delve into the second-gen world for their next project: a ’70, to be exact. “The name Crusher is fitting for this car because of the shape it was in when we found it,” explained Dave. “When we saw the car for the first time, our initial thoughts were that it should have been crushed instead of resurrected, but we went ahead with it anyway.”

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With Crusher saved from the scrap pile, Dave and Karen decided to build this second-gen as the ultimate autocross car. The idea was to set the motor back 6-plus inches and lighten the car by using fiberglass and aluminum panels where they could. So, with an Eric Brockmeyer rendering in hand, the stage was set.

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Sticking with Pro Stock legends for power, this time Dave called up “The Professor,” Warren Johnson to supply the underhood grunt. Pro Stock gurus are less than forthcoming with engine specs, but we do know the RHS/LSR block was machined by Warren himself and features Mast aluminum heads. Lunati crank and rods host Wiseco pistons, and a COMP Cams custom grind provides precise lift and duration per the professor's specifications. Of course, those numbers were left under wraps. Now, that’s all good for WJ and the Leisinger’s, but not so much for our readers.

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An Edelbrock fuel pump keeps the Quickfuel 850-cfm carb quenched with 110 octane housed in a Flo-Fast 5-gallon fuel cell, while an MSD 6011 keeps the spark alive. DSE stainless 2-inch headers provide the exit strategy into a custom-built Lakeside 3-inch exhaust, and a pair of Flowmaster 44s produce a more decibel-friendly tone.

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A PRC aluminum radiator accommodates the Spal dual electric fans and a Meziere LS1 water pump ensures the juices flow. A Melling oil pump keeps lubrication moving and a CV Racing Products pulley system ties it all together.

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So what sort of power does a one-off Warren Johnson engine get you these days? How about a tick over 760 hp at 5,800 rpm and over 660 lb-ft at 5,200 rpm—certainly enough to annihilate any autocross course in America. With that said, we can’t verify 100,000-mile/10-year warranty (or whichever comes first) is included.

Regardless of the warranty, a stout drivetrain was necessary to manage all that Warren Johnson Racing potency, so Dave called up Gearstar for one of their Turbo 400 Level 5 transmissions. A Gearstar full-race valvebody and 3,500-stall converter send the monumental torque to a Driveline Services driveshaft. A Moser 9-inch stuffed with a Wavetrack and 3.90 cogs spin the Strange axles. A TransGo shift kit and Hurst shifter manage gear changes, and for robust launches Dave incorporated a trans brake into the equation.

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